BLOG: Discovering land-based fun

AT times I can get a little bit one-eyed when it comes to my fishing. I get locked into chasing a particular species or get zoned in trying to work out a waterway and until I figure it out, I rarely stray from the path. This can often be to my own detriment...

I have owned boats since I was 22 years old and absolutely love the thrill of getting onto the water, hunting my prey and hitting numerous spots in a given session. My boat is integral to the way I fish and I sometimes scoff at those committed to fishing land based. This is not an elitist attitude but I always felt that to really get amongst the prime pickings you need a boat to get to the good spots. A boat can be anything from a flash fibreglass Ferrari to a plank of wood with an oar; anything that floats basically. Upon reflection though I think I might be the one misinformed!

I had an opportunity the other day to hit the banks of a tiny little creek in the Hawkesbury system. I had around four hours to kill and armed myself with three spare jigheads, a packet of 2" Gulp! Shrimp, a bit of leader and a pair of scissors which I stuffed into my short pockets. In hand was a 7' 1-3kg spin stick on a micro Luvias. Off I trotted, my expectations were fairly low.

On about the 3rd cast to a bridge pylon my plastic was engulfed. Whatever took the lure shredded me in seconds and felt like a weighty fish. My adrenaline rose. A few casts later the same thing happened. It only took me five minutes of prospecting on foot to reignite my enthusiasm for other fishing pursuits. I'd forgotten how good it was to set out on foot with minimal gear and a sense of adventure. I caught plenty of fish that session, ranging from flathead to bream and even a whiting. However, those two dust-ups were still in my mind. I know they catch monster jewies in this shallow creek at times and I wonder if I'd happened to entice a couple?

This experience got me thinking, maybe we over think things a little. How naked would I feel if I went out fishing on my boat with only one packet of lures? Yet here I was, satisfied with my one-trick-pony approach, only a few different weighted jigheads to give me a small amount of flexibility. And I'd caught fish and was chuffed.

While boat fishing I tout the "stay mobile" attitude emphasising the need to cover large areas of water fast. Land based means the opposite; spending large amounts of time in a small patch of water. I was catching fish on cast 20y to the same snag when I would have moved on long ago in my boat. Obviously, this has me rethinking my attitudes on how long I should give a spot before declaring it a dud.

This little session was a real eye-opener. I can't wait to get back there and discover some more spots further upstream and further away from the crowds. At the same time I might lose a few kilos as well. It's all positive!

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